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Who We Are
The World Trade Council of Wichita (WTCouncil) was founded in 1975 by Dr. Lee Nehrt,
Dr. Dharma deSilva, and Dean Larry McKibbin in concert with 11 area multinational
companies to promote international trade and investment in Greater Wichita and south-central
For over 40 years, the WTCouncil, an independent 501(c)3 organization, has had a strategic
partnership with Wichita State University's Center for International Business Advancement (CIBA) to foster work and ideals of international business via educational seminars, country
and/or agency trade programs, company-specific international trade and export strategies
and best practices to advance international business.
Professor Usha Haley, W. Frank Barton Distinguished Chair of International Business and Professor of Management
at the Barton School of Business, serves as the WTCouncil's elected Chair.
CIBA/World Trade Council of Wichita is a proud recipient of the two highest awards
conferred by the United States for Exports - the President's "E" and "E Star" Awards.
The “E” Award was created by Executive Order of the President of the United States
to recognize persons, firms, or organizations that contribute significantly to efforts
to increase United States exports. The “E Star” Award recognizes continued exemplary
achievement in advancing United States exports.
The WTCouncil supports the International Business Studies Association and International Business majors at the Barton School through scholarships and networking opportunities with the business and policy communities. To register
and pay for WTCouncil's dinner meetings or programs, go here.
CIBA/WTCouncil hold monthly dinner and networking programs on topical issues regarding international business and trade to bring together various
stakeholders, including local, national, and international business leaders, government
officials, and foreign diplomats, to enhance collaboration. Average attendance at
the monthly meetings is more than 100. For more information and opportunities to speak,
please contact Professor Usha Haley (email@example.com), Chair of the WTCouncil.
These meetings provide structured opportunities for students and faculty to network with business
and government leaders for research opportunities and job openings. Presentations
in the past year include Kansas Secretary of Commerce David Toland, Spirit AeroSystems
VP Mark Suchinski, Cargill VP Pat Binger, Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Mike Beam
Every summer, with the support of the Governor of Kansas and the Mayor of Wichita,
the WTCouncil hosts World Trade Week to cover in-depth with senior managers and policymakers
the most important international investment opportunities and takeaways from the previous
year and for the next. For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Usha Haley, WTCouncil
Objectives and Goals
Provide a forum for networking and exchanging professional experiences among members,
companies' senior managers, government policy makers, academics, country ambassadors,
consuls general, trade commissioners, and trade agencies or specialists, via monthly
Present country, company and/or agency trade programs with best market prospects by
organizing visiting country and networking receptions, seminars and annual US-proclaimed
World Trade Week.
Advocate policy positions on trade issues (e.g. exports, imports, trade barriers)
and public policy legislation.
Update Kansas International Trade data bank (maintained by CIBA, initiated by US Department
of Education/BIE grants), conduct periodic surveys to accurately portray “Kansas Export
Profile, Problems and Prospects,” nominate member firms for International Business Excellence Awards (IBEA) for export or service accomplishments, and identify issues or topics for research
by faculty for studies through executive guest lectures, internships, facilitating
participation in WTCouncil events, course-related research and faculty-directed Wichita
business case development.
Identify opportunities for trade and cultural missions, encourage participation from
members' companies, and report council's activity to the media and our website.
Bring an awareness of international business and develop future talent and human resources
through involving college students in internationalization events and international
business scholarships or internships, particularly those majoring or minoring in International
Business and International Business Studies Association (IBSA) members.
Offer opportunities for IBSA students to assist in WTCouncil operations and events.
After graduation, these students are eagerly sought by area companies and many have
excelled in executive positions and as entrepreneurs in the US and abroad.
Serve as an advisory council to the WSU Center for International Business Advancement (CIBA) for federal and state grant applications and development of strategies to
internationalize business education at universities, and to understand and implement
industry best practices, to meet global competition, and to contribute to business
and economic growth.
For Program Registration, information on Membership, and logistics for Speakers, please contact the WTCouncil office at phone 316-978-3176
or email firstname.lastname@example.org . For Speaker inquiries, Sponsorship opportunities and Media queries, please contact
WTCouncil Chair Professor Usha Haley at phone 316-978-5500 or email email@example.com . You may also contact us through this form.